American Alarms Blog

What does it mean to have your alarms monitored?

by Adam Jacobs 3/18/2019

There are literally hundreds of central stations that receive alarm signals in our country.  So what sets them apart?  How do you know yours has what it takes when it really matters?  The Monitoring Association (TMA) is the oldest and most reputable gauge of central station overall performance and customer satisfaction in the industry.

How many times has your central station won TMA's Central Station of the Year?  Ours won last year.

Does your central station have multiple locations hundreds of miles apart, so that weather cannot affect BOTH stations at once?  Ours does.

Does your central station have dual backup servers, generators, and an emergency recovery plan?  Ours does.

If you have fire alarms, does your central station truly understand the difference between fire and burglar alarms?  Many don't, but ours does.

Do you wait for 10, 15, 20 minutes or more just to talk with an operator?  You'll never wait more than a minute or two when calling ours.

Does your station have customer web applications and smart phone apps if that's what you choose?  Ours does.

Do you have the option to NOT get awakened in the middle of the night for trouble and supervisory signals?  Ours does.

 

We spent over a year to figure out exactly what we would want in a central station.  We are confident that our central station does the best job of any in the industry.

Come experience what REAL customer service and professional alarm monitoring feels like!

 

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Central Station jargon

by Adam Jacobs 6/17/2016

Occasionally we find ourselves talking to a customer about their alarm monitoring and using the jargon that only we understand in the industry.  I have to catch myself sometimes.  "What's an RP list," a customer asks.  Oh, I'm sorry, I mean an emergency contact list.  What's an E301 and E608?  Well, that's the central station's way of telling you that your panel had a power outage and now it's sending an abnormal test signal.  Here are answers to some of our customers' most frequent questions.

Q: I just received a call for a phone line trouble, in the middle of the night.  Do I have to take those? 

A: No.  We can tell the central station to only call on trouble signals between 8AM and 5PM.

Q: What are some of the most important signals that require my response?

A: Any ALARM, of course.  In the winter time in Iowa and other cold areas, it's also important to listen for "Low Air" supervisory signals.  If this goes unattended, it could mean frozen pipes and thousands of dollars of water damage.

Q: Do I have to sign a long-term contract for alarm monitoring?

A: Not with us.  Most other monitoring services require at least a 2-year commitment.

 

If you have any other monitoring or central station questions, please call us and ask.

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